Milk glass is a type of opaque glass that first originated in Venice in the 16th century. Despite the name, not all milk glass is white—even very old pieces can be found in alternative colors such as pink, blue, or brown. Although the genesis of this type of glass is quite old, the milk glass that is found in the collectible market today tends to date from the 19th and 20th centuries, and much of it was produced in America.
White milk glass became popular during the Victorian era because it was a beautiful and economical alternative to porcelain, which it resembles. (This is also the era when the term “milk glass” was coined to describe this type of glassware).
This lovely embossed and painted 3-piece dresser set, circa 1880's, for the lady of the house. Each piece is embossed with scrolls, shells and geometric designs which were them enhanced with green and gold enamel. The dresser tray measures 12" in length and 9" in width, the round covered jar measures 2 3/4" in height and 3 3/8" across and the rectangular covered box measures 4 1/4" in length and 2 3/4" in width. There are no cracks or repairs; several chips on the underside of the rectangular lid (see photo); normal paint wear due to age and use.